James Holmes calm as he learns he may face death
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) The latest in the sentencing phase of the Colorado theater shooting trial (all times local):
Colorado theater shooter James Holmes is standing calmly, hands in his pockets, as a judge reads the jury’s decision that he is eligible for the death penalty.
Holmes, slightly bearded and wearing a white shirt and khakis, stood beside his attorneys and looked directly at Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. as the judge read the findings Thursday.
Now, his attorneys will argue that life in prison without parole, rather than death, is the appropriate sentence.
The jury convicted Holmes last week of multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for his July 2012 attack at a suburban Denver movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.
Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial have refused to rule out the death penalty for James Holmes in the first phase of sentencing.
The jury said Thursday that they agree with prosecutors that Holmes’ crimes were heinous enough to warrant execution.
Now, Holmes’ attorneys will argue that life in prison without parole is an appropriate sentence despite those crimes.
Jurors convicted Holmes last week of multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for the July 2012 attack at a suburban Denver movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.
Holmes’ lawyers are expected to focus on his severe mental illness and could call his parents, a college roommate and former neighbors to testify.
Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting have decided if the death penalty can be considered for James Holmes.
Their decision was expected to be announced early Thursday afternoon. They began deliberating Wednesday.
If jurors conclude the crime was cruel enough that execution is warranted, the defense will try to convince them that there are other reasons Holmes should be sentenced to life in prison, including that he is mentally ill.
If they decide against the death penalty, Holmes would automatically be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Jurors convicted Holmes last week of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack on a suburban Denver theater. They rejected the defense argument that he couldn’t tell right from wrong because of his mental illness.
Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.